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Research Data: Save, share, collaborate

Tips and support for data management for researchers at ÅAU

Storage and sharing during the project

​During the research project, storage solutions and back up are needed. Usually there is also a need to share the data with colleagues. When selecting storage solution, the following should be paid attention to:

Space: Does the service offer enough storage space for the intended purpose?
Access: Does the data need to be available even from mobile devices or the web?
Confidentiality: What kind of data can be stored? Does it meet the requirements that apply to storing personal data, for instance? More information about information security and classification of data can be found here.
Security: How the backup is handled and how long after a mistake or system error data can be restored.
Sharing: What options are offered regarding sharing and collaborating on data?


Read more about information security and storage quotas on the intranet (login required).

Personal user accounts in commersial services, such as Dropbox and GoogleDrive, are not recommended for storing and sharing research data. Please note that also USB-sticks and other portable storage units should be avoided due to the risk of data loss.

Storing and sharing during the project - raw data and processed data

  • The data can be saved in the researcher's home directory (pchome). Large data sets that require more space can also be saved in a network drive on ÅAU's server. The network drive (pcinst) can be shared with other users at ÅAU and it fills the safety requirements for sharing sensitive data. Requests for storage space on the network drive are addressed to ÅAU's helpdesk.
  • File sharing: to email large files, use FUNET Filesender (log in with your haka-id). (Guide on sending encrypted email, intranet.)
  • Rubberstamp, a service for encrypting discussion threads, such as emails. Requires login with haka id.
  • IDA storage service - for stable datasets - you can share externally with others through a link, but also store your "frozen" raw data (provided by CSC)
  • Reliable external services free of charge to users at ÅAU include EUDAT:s B2DROP. Registrer as user at B2ACCESS. Get access by registering at B2ACCESS (select ”Log in with your organizational id”  > enter into search field “Åbo” > ”Authenticate” >”Register”. Then open the B2DROP page and log in with your ÅAU username. Other users can register without charge.

Tools for collaboration

  • Microsoft Teams and OneDrive (for which ÅAU has licenses) can be used to share non-sensitive and non-confidential data with other ÅAU users and external users.

CSC services

After the end of the project

Check wether the funder or publisher require that research data should be stored for a specfic time for verification of results. The time periods are in general discipline-specific (e.g. 3 years, 5 years, 10 years).

Sharing, publishing, opening data after the project end are described in the section open/preserve after project end.

Tools for data collection and analysis provided by ÅAU

There is a range of institutional licenses for programs for capturing, collecting and analysing data. See the ICT service information on the intranet (login required). For example, the following tools are provided:

  • E-lomake for surveys - can be used also for sentitive data, since the data is stored in the ÅAU network. Guides for using e-lomake are available on the intranet (login required)
  • Nvivo for analysing qualitative data (for example transcripts of interviews and other texts)
  • SPSS for statistical analysis
  • R is a free, open source alternative for statistical programming, recommended by ICT services and installed on many ÅAU computers
  • MatLab for mathematics, graphics and programming
  • GitLab for managing codes. At ÅAU Community Edition is used at gitlab.abo.fi. Log in by using your ÅAU username (LDAP tab)

Recommended data formats

Standard and non-proprietary formats are recommended in digital archiving, since these increase the possibility of reusing the material in the future. Some data archives may recommend or require specific formats upon submission of data.

Recommended formats (UK Dataservice)

Digitalpreservation.fi - guide for file formats in long-term preservation

Finnish Social Science Data Archive's guide for file formats and software